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August 13, 2015 - IncomeAndGrowth

Cart Attendant Work Is Absurd

Hello all, I’ve been reading several posts here and I’ve been inspired to give me story on what’s like to work as cart attendant. First, I should note as to why I started working for Target: up until recently, I was happily employed at a company which paid me $12 an hour. At the time, being that I had a stable, decent-paying job, I purchased a new car, a 2007 Jeep, since not only was my then-car more than 20-years-old and failing, but also being that my job was more than 30 miles from my home. In addition to that bill, I had a hospital bill relating to my first job. In short, I was (am) knee-deep in debt. More than that, my mother is out of work on a shoulder injury, and my income served as a buffer for my parents and I. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end: I had the misfortune of having a disingenuous boss who, instead of admitting that she understaffed my department, fired me and blamed me for our department being behind. Anyway, I was a serious state of depression and anxiety – almost suicidal. Target comes to the rescue by offering me an interview for the only position that was available: cart attendant. Happily, of course, being desperate for money, I accepted their offer of California’s minimum wage of $9 an hour. (If you live in California, you understand why that is nothing.)

Of course, being that I applied for cart attendant and was hired as such, they trained me as a … cashier? A cashier?

LOD: “Oh, don’t worry – we do this in case we need extra cashiers. ”

That was a joke of course – if you’re a cart attendant, you can expect to be the first person they call for anything, most of which will be to cover a lane. Besides the piss-poor training they give every cashier, the training for cart attendant was even more poor. Please understand that being a cart attendant doesn’t mean that you will only attend to carts. As cart attendant, you are Target – you are AP, being that it’s you’re job to be vigilant inside and out for suspicious activities; you are Guest Services, being that you take back the CRC and anything else they need taken to the back; you are the cashier, being that you have to deal with the same extreme couponers and irrational customers that any cashier has to deal with, as well as having to take back the hangers to the bin in the back room; you are the janitor, being that you have to clean the most disgusting, possibly-infectious messes in the bathroom, at Starbucks, at food services, and anywhere else in the store where a child or careless adult destroys company property; you are the depository of all complaints folks have of things which you will never have control of. More to the point: you are all this at once. This job is so stressful, so all-encompassing, that you’d think i’d merit better training.

As mentioned before, my first job put me in the hospital – I was new to working, so my body wasn’t ready for the 14-plus miles of walking it required plus heavy lifting. I lost a lot of weight at my first job and it finally got to me one night as I passed out while driving to work.  The hospital bill was more than 12 grand, and that was for only a room and the x-rays they took – I passed out shortly and was able to drive myself to a hospital. At Target, I’ve clocked in my walking and running at more than 14 miles per day – and this is at $9 an hour, where as my previous employer paid $13.50 an hour for less work. I can’t take this anymore. At this point, I feel so degraded and over-worked for so little money. The work is absolutely unreasonable – it’s as if they premised your list of tasks on the idea that you are a cyborg. It’s unreasonable in two respects. First, the amount of work requires that you sample several departments and their responsibilities. Second, it does not take into account circumstance – for instance, you are expected to have spotless restrooms, full carts, no trash, and be available for cashier duties regardless of whether that day is busy or not. If you aren’t, regardless of how nice your LOD is, you are spoken to as if you are screwing up.

I’m quitting very soon. If it were not for this page, I would’ve lost my sanity by now.


Employee Experience Cart Attendant /


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